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Santa Barbara Marathon Scaled Back Due to Low Turnout

A Santa Barbara marathon event scheduled for November has been canceled due to low turnout, but the event’s half marathon and relay will still take place, according to the race director.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half Marathon would no longer include its marathon and marathon relay events.

The would be consolidated into the half marathon and half marathon relay on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Race Director Rusty Snow called the decision “incredibly hard,” and said that the race had a lower-than-expected number of runners signed up, not enough to sustain the race costs.

“Our hearts go out to the people who trained for the marathon,” he told Noozhawk on Friday.

Marathon signups have been going down for the past three years, and “we tried all options, it just wasn’t working,” he said.

The decision was made last week, and Snow and his crew worked to notify sponsors before making the public announcement on Wednesday.

Snow said that smaller marathons are losing traction across the industry, and comparable races such as the Pasadena and Malibu marathons have had to make similar decisions to cut their races.

Marathons may continue to flourish in larger cities like Boston and New York, but smaller locations make it difficult to attract the number of entrants needed to sustain costs, like those for closing down roads and staffing the race, he said.

The course will be a special one this year and begins from UCSB, where more than 3,000 runners will pass under the Henley gate, running eastbound on Highway 217, which will be closed to traffic as the runners make their way.

“That’s never been done ever,” he said.

A half-marathon relay, with legs ranging from two to five miles, will also be starting from UCSB, he said.

The race will finish at Leadbetter Beach.

Those who were signed up for the marathon and marathon relay events can receive a full refund, transfer their registration to the half-marathon or half-marathon relay, or defer their registration until the Nov. 2016 half marathon.

Participants can transfer their registration even up to the day before at the race expo, Snow said.

Those wanting to do so online can do so here for the marathon and here for the marathon relay until Oct. 25.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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